Physician spotlight: Dr. Dale Horne

Dr. Dale Horne has been taking things apart and putting them back together ever since he was a child growing up in Tucson, Arizona. One of his fondest early memories is of accompanying his father to the airplane hangar where his father kept a Beechcraft Bonanza.

"Every year I’d help my dad take the boards and seats out of the plane before inspections," Dr. Horne recalls. "I became very familiar with tools."

Young Dale spent many happy hours building model rockets, creating electronic projects, and repairing bicycles. He graduated to more complex machines in high school, when he began working in an anesthesiology lab. Encouraged by a physician-mentor, he began contemplating a career in medicine and became head of his high school’s medical careers club.

The Horne FamilyDr. Horne is a devoted family man who enjoys spending time
with his wife, Rachel, and two daughters.

Fast forward to today, and one finds Dr. Horne immersed in state-of-the-art technologies at the Mayfield Clinic. Dr. Horne is unique among Mayfield neurosurgeons in his use of the Mazor Robotics SpineAssist Guidance System for spine surgery. Dr. Horne has performed more than 300 cases with the Mazor system at Bethesda North Hospital.

"The robot is useful for accurate placement of pedicle screws during an instrumented fusion," Dr. Horne says. "The robot does it accurately and safely. It has the added benefit of minimizing the amount of radiation that the patient, staff and surgeon are exposed to from fluoroscopy."

The Mazor robot is designed to help surgeons perform minimally invasive surgery as well as highly complex procedures for patients with scoliosis, degenerative disc disease, and other spinal deformities.

Dr. Horne’s life took a dramatic turn during his junior year in high school, when he was accepted to the famous college preparatory school, Phillips Academy, in Andover, Massachusetts. "It was a life-changing experience," Dr. Horne reflects. "It’s the reason how and why I am where I am today."

He spent two years at Phillips and graduated a year ahead of Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.

Dr. Horne went on to major in chemistry at Washington University in St. Louis and then earned a doctorate in Neuropharmacology at Tulane University. While teaching medical students at Tulane, he decided that he wanted to become a physician himself. He returned to Washington University, entering medical school at age 27 and completing his degree in three years. He performed his neurosurgical residency at Vanderbilt University and then practiced in Indiana and Kentucky before joining Riverhills Neuroscience in Cincinnati in 2006. He became part of the Mayfield Clinic in 2014.

Dr. Horne has enjoyed playing a leadership role in his field. He served as president of the Ohio State Neurosurgical Society from 2011 to 2013 and is currently a board member and delegate. He is secretary of the Northwest Quadrant of the Council of State Neurosurgical Societies, and he is a Fellow in the America College of Surgeons.

Away from work, Dr. Horne is a devoted family man who enjoys spending time with his wife, Rachel, and two daughters. He loves animals – especially dogs -- and the outdoors. His hobbies include photography, computers, skiing, fishing, and travel.